Friday, 18 November 2016

Baja California - Airport to La Paz

I was up quite early, had breakfast at the hotel and then went to get a rental car. I had reserved one with Payless Cars but last night read all the terrible reviews about them and decided I didn't want to risk a bad experience and went and got a car through Alamo.
I was on the road by 11am. It was easy to get onto the toll by-pass road, past Cabo itself, through the foothills of the Sierra Laguna, with bridges crossing lots of arroyo (dry gulch caused by an intermittent stream). Scrub land, very dry and rocky with lots of turkey vultures circling. Glad I had water with me.
George would have loved the scenery, he had a thing for cacti, especially these "armed" ones. There are masses of them here, forests of them.
The rental car guy told me that the speed limit was 110km but it was posted at 90km so that's what I did. Most of the road all the way to La Paz was beautiful, smooth highway. Unfortunately nowhere to pull over and take pictures as it was quite stunning. The mountains on one side and long sandy, surf beaches on the other side, dotted occasionally with sport fishing boats and, once, a cruise ship on the horizon.
One of the reasons that I didn't drive last night was that the internet forums spoke of cattle wandering onto the road and getting hit at night. I thought this might be a rare occurrence but just after starting to see these signs I had to miss a large, black, dead cow on the road. Also saw a dead fox but the cow would have done a lot more damage to a car.
Crested Caracara. These seemed to like sitting on top of the cacti. I saw so many of them I finally had to pull over and take a picture so I could identify it. I also saw red tailed hawks, turkey vultures and frigate birds.

The drive through La Paz itself was a little chaotic. I had got kind of used to the open road and now it was chock full of cars and the street signs were pretty small. Luckily I only had to make 3 turns and I found the 3 streets on the first try. Drove up in front of the house at about 1:30pm, about when google said I should.
Dale's directions had been great and the keys were where she said and the house is lovely. Dale had left me some maps so after getting all my stuff in and turning on the air conditioning, I set out again to find the grocery store.
Mexican wine, cheese and coffee. The store had a huge selection of Chilean wine which I am sure I will get to but I thought I should start with Mexican. I tease Sharon about it but I also enjoy wandering around a grocery store in another country, looking at whats the same and what is not.
In the bakery department you take a large metal tray and metal tongs and load the tray up with everything you want and then take it to the bakery check out for them to add up. I had forgotten about this system, we used it in Merida, it makes for a lot of impulsive, bakery buys.
After putting away the groceries I opened a bottle of Mexican cabernet/grenache and sat in the little courtyard in the warmth. It was lovely. Today it was about 26 degrees and breezy
I  talked to Dale on the phone, when I arrived, and she warned me that this weekend is a big sale weekend in La Paz (something like Black Friday) so I'm not driving anywhere, I think I will walk downtown tomorrow  and explore a little. There is a bicycle here, I will also be checking out whether I would be comfortable biking in this city.

1 comment: